Gear up your dog! If you’re going around with a trusty companion by your side, why not get them their own tactical gear? No need for humans to hog all the cool equipment!
But seriously, a K9 IFAK Pouch provides great utility. It makes sense to get one for your dog. Then when you go out, you’ll never forget to bring the vital items your dog may require. In case of an IFAK, the materials can also be useful to people in a case of emergency.
K9 IFAK Pouches are only as useful as the stuff that they carry. Let’s take a look at what you’d find in the ideal pooch pouch.
What to Put in a K9 IFAK Pouch?
IFAK stands for Individual First Aid Kit. They’re small kits containing rescue essentials for use in treating emergency wounds and other injuries. Many of the items can be used on dogs as well as people.
A well-prepped IFAK should include the following essential supplies:
Tourniquets – A critical component of lifesaving, the tourniquet works to staunch bleeding. Loss of blood can speedily lead to adverse outcomes. Military-grade supplies such as the CAT (Combat Application Tourniquet) and SOFTT-W tourniquet require some training to use effectively. If you purchase those types (also known as windlass tourniquets), be sure to take the time to learn how to use them. There are simpler tourniquets like the SWAT-T that can be applied by someone who has no previous training.
Gauze Dressings – There are several ways to utilize gauze dressings. They are highly critical for wound packing, where they can be applied to prevent excessive bleeding. You have the option of using conventional gauze or hemostatic gauze. With conventional gauze, you simply pack it into the wound and apply direct pressure. Hemostatic gauze works similarly and also contains a hemostatic agent that speeds up clotting. That reduces the time you’re required to exert direct pressure on the wound.
Trauma Wound Dressings and Bandages – After you’ve packed a wound with gauze, you’ll want to wrap it with bandages that are able to apply constant pressure. These items come in many different designs. Rolled bandages are very popular. But look for rolled bandages with features that aid foolproof closure and prevent accidental unrolling. If your IFAK pouch needs to be very compact, consider an option such as the Israeli Emergency Bandage, which combines multiple first-aid functions in one item: primary wound dressing, pressure provider, secondary dressing and secure closure.
Mini Trauma Shears – Used to cut away clothing so that you can access the wound or injury for proper treatment.
Nitrile Gloves – Why use nitrile gloves instead of vinyl or latex gloves? They’re more durable than vinyl and they don’t cause issues for people who have a latex allergy. Besides, most medical-grade gloves are made from nitrile. You’ll want to have disposable gloves handy when you’re going to be treating a victim. The gloves offer you a layer of protection against bloodborne pathogens.
Additional Items – We recommend carrying a Sharpie, used for marking directly on the patient the time a tourniquet was applied. You might also want to pack a small flashlight, a pair of large tweezers, a pack of waterproof adhesive bandages, a roll of medical tape, burn dressings and chest seals. You can use a chest seal to deal with a sucking chest wound, which occurs when an injury results in a new airway leading into the lung cavity. That’s a very dangerous thing.
How Can the IFAK Pouch Be a Good Saddle Bag for Your Dog?
Now that you’ve gathered the supplies for your IFAK Pouch, you’ll want to think about how your dog is going to carry them. One popular option would be saddle bags. These are pouches that can be attached to the sides of your dog’s harness.
Take note that a dog should carry no more than 10%-12% of their own body weight in the saddle bags. If your dog is an older one, or a breed more prone to injury, you might want to lighten their load even further.
Saddle bags can be a good idea even if they’re not used for carrying an IFAK. You can pack them with small items that may come in handy while you’re walking the dog, or even going on an extended outdoors trip.
Here’s a list of saddle bag items you might want to bring along:
- dog treats
- dog wipes
- dog poop bags
- dog first aid kit
- collapsible water bowl
- attachable safety lights
- dog jacket and/or dog boots
- emergency card with your contact info
- service dog patches (if you have a service dog)
- possibly some Scooby snacks? (ha ha!)
Here’s a clever tip: Purchase an IFAK Pouch that can work as a saddle bag on your dog. The 14er Tactical IFAK Pouch comes with a MOLLE mounting base with snap-on straps. It’s easy to affix to a dog harness so it can work as a saddle bag.
Why Should You Consider Getting a K9 IFAK Pouch?
Does your dog really need to have an IFAK Pouch? Maybe not, but they’re a really good idea. For one thing, they help identify your pooch as a well-trained dog with an owner. The dog’s connection to you will be even clearer if you are outfitted as a matching pair. If your dog’s got a 14er Tactical IFAK Pouch, then you should be equipped with a 14er Tactical Backpack!
Even better, you can stick K9 Patches on your dog’s pouch and sport similar-looking morale patches on your gear! (Here’s why you should collect these cool, funny, awesome badges.) And if your dog is a service animal, you’ll want to let the world know with some service dog patches.
The IFAK Pouch can hold an emergency card that informs anyone who finds your dog how to get in touch with you. If by some unfortunate circumstance, your dog should go missing, you can be assured that the emergency card will be carried by the dog, improving your chances of getting the dog back.
Dog saddle bags and dog backpacks also deliver greater efficiency. By offloading some items for your dog to carry, you can bring along more stuff without overpacking yourself or your pooch. That benefits both of you.
For more guidance on purchasing a dog backpack, check out this helpful buyer’s guide on Reddit.
How Can an IFAK Pouch Be Useful in K9 Training?
In general, K9 IFAK Pouches offer a lot of utility for active pet owners who enjoy going out and about with their faithful hounds. They are especially useful for dog trainers and new pet owners seeking to mold their dog’s behavior.
Dog treats are essential accessories for canine behavioral training. Just as Pavlov intended, giving rewards to dogs when they follow your commands will aid in instilling correct behavior. Packing the treats in the dog’s pouch offers great convenience. The dog will also get used to being able to smell the treat without being allowed to eat it immediately. That should help the dog learn some self-discipline.
Dog training can be strenuous, and there will be a chance of injury, however small. With an IFAK Pouch on your pooch, you’re well-prepared in case of any unfortunate incident. You can stay calm, having essential first-aid supplies close at hand, and focus on responding to your dog’s emergency.
How Can You Make Your K9 IFAK Pouch Stand Out?
Dogs are cool and the 14er Tactical IFAK Pouch will look cool on any pooch! But why stop there? Make your dog’s pouch look even cooler! Have fun picking out some cheery or badass K9 patches to decorate it in your style.
Here’s a good selection of K9 patches to choose from. Some of these are humorous, like the Hooman Protector, Beast Mode and Fur Missile morale patches. Some are factual, like K-9 and Best Friend. Some are utilitarian: Ask To Pet, Do Not Pet, In Training
If you own a service animal and you want to focus on that status, then see this excellent collection of service dog patches. Several of them provide warnings such as “Do Not Pet, Do Not Distract” and “No Touch, No Talk, No Eye Contact.” A couple are highly informative, identifying the dog as Working, In Training, or trained in Stress & Anxiety Response.
Get a set of morale patches for your best friend! Be a proud pet owner. Show off your dog with a touch of flair.